Grace Knox was walking to school when she suddenly found herself screaming for someone to rescue her.
The 12-year-old girl became trapped underground in a sewer, begging for help, after she stepped into an open manhole that was missing a cover, WIVB reports.
The terrified child stood in two feet of dirty water 12 feet below the street for a full hour before a stranger walking by heard someone yelling for their mom.
There was no one in sight when the man heard the screams, but he eventually found the girl, who broke her leg during the fall, when he followed her voice and looked into the hole.
Buffalo, New York, Fire Capt. Daniel O’Leary explained the girl was “just hysterical, just screaming for her mom” when they found her. Grace had dropped her cellphone on the street on her way down into the hole.
According to WGRZ, Assistant Fire Commissioner Johnathan Eaton said:
“When the crews arrived, the girl was down in the hole. We used the assistance of a ladder and a rope, and she actually helped herself for the rescue.”
The girl’s grandfather, William Miles, told WGRZ:
“I believe an angel grabbed her and helped her down. And an angel was there to pick her back up again.”
Miles said his granddaughter described being stuck inside the sewer with no way out:
“Very dark, very cold, And very lonely.”
Removing a manhole cover is not an easy thing to do. The city said they weigh about 150 pounds, and a special tool is used to remove it from the ground.
The city did not discover any reason the hole would have been open after checking to see if any work was being done in the area. Now it’s a mystery as to how and why the dangerous hole was left uncovered. O’Leary said:
“The manhole cover was about 5 feet away just sitting in the grass, nobody knows.”
The South Buffalo Police are working to find out who took it off, which led to the girl’s fall that caused her to suffer hypothermia and surgery on her broken leg.
Watch as the frightening moment is described below.